Each year, many tenants in Quebec receive notices from landlords to take back or “repossess” their apartment so the landlord can move in or house a family member. In many cases, the landlord is allowed to do this, but here are five situations in which it’s not permitted.
Important! Sometimes people will refer to this situation as “eviction”. This is understandable as the tenant is forced to leave their apartment. However, when a landlord forces a tenant to leave so that they can move in or house a family member, the legal term is repossession.
A company owns the building
If a company owns the building in which you live, repossession isn’t possible. So, for example, if the building manager or the company owner wants to move in, the company can’t legally repossess your apartment and force you to leave. Only a physical person can repossess an apartment.
Your landlord has a similar apartment available
Your landlord cannot repossess your apartment if they own a similar one that is vacant or will be on the date they’re planning to take back your apartment. However, the other apartment must be similar in terms of size, location and monthly rent for you to benefit from this protection.
You are a low-income senior
Your landlord cannot repossess your apartment if you (or your spouse) meet all the following conditions:
- you are 70 years or older,
- you have lived in the apartment for at least 10 years,
- you have an annual income that qualifies you for low-rental housing (HLM).
However, a landlord who is 70 years old or over can repossess an apartment to live in it even if the tenant meets the above conditions. For more information, contact the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL or rental board).
You were not given enough notice
For a notice of repossession to be valid, the landlord must give you sufficient notice. This is a legal requirement.
- If the length of your lease is more than six months, your landlord must send the notice at least six months before the end of your lease.
- If the length of your lease is six months or less, the landlord must send the notice at least one month before the end of your lease.
- If your lease has no set length (also known as a lease with an indeterminate term), your landlord must send the notice at least six months before the date they plan to repossess the apartment.
The unit is owned in undivided co-ownership
Co-owners of a rental unit cannot repossess it unless they are spouses (common-law, married or civil union). For example, if two friends buy a building together, neither of them can repossess an apartment.
For more information on repossession, see our article: Repossession of Rental Housing